Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley Stressed the need for Long Term Investment in Agriculture for Meeting the Food Related Demands of the Country in the Future; Asks NABARD to Continue to address the
The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley stressed the need for long term investment in agriculture for meeting the food related demands of the country in the future. Shri Jaitley asked the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to continue to address the inadequacies in rural finance market and thereby enhance its unique Apex development bank status for development of agriculture and rural sector. Emphasising the need to support rural housing, the Finance Minister noted NABARD’s efforts in allocating Rs.3000 crore by way of refinance and also underlined for enhanced efforts in this regard. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was addressing the Board of Directors of NABARD here today. Shri Jaitley also interacted with the Directors about the priorities of his Government and the expectations from the Apex Development bank. He advised NABARD to continue to provide leadership in areas such as financial inclusion, farm credit to the small and marginal farmers besides those farmers [tenants/lessees etc] who do not have clear title deeds to the farms they till. He noted that NABARD had effectively utilised the initial corpus of Rs.5000 crore of Long Term Rural Credit Fund allocated in the current year’s Union budget.
The Union Finance Minister also appreciated NABARD’s idea of district centric approach for development of backward districts in a project mode and its plan to pilot it in 10 backward districts to double the per capita rural credit in the next three years.
On this occasion, the Finance Minister Shri Jaitley launched two NABARD supported e-commerce portals – ekraftindia and shilpicraft, for marketing of handicrafts and artisan products of Self Help Groups (SHGs).
He also unveiled the roadmap for digitisation of Small Help Groups (SHGs) across the country. There are 73 lakh SHGs in the country today and digitisation is expected to lead to better participation of the members of the SHGs in the PMJDY. Digitisation will also enable better interface of SHGs with the banking system.
Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance, Shri R.K. Goyal, Secretary, Rural Development, Shri Ashish Bahuguna, Secretary, Agriculture, Deputy Governor of RBI and Ms Snehlata Shrivastav, Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS) were also present in the meeting among others.
Earlier speaking on the occasion, Shri Jayant Sinha Minister of State for Finance appreciated NABARD for its initiatives in the areas of watershed development, tribal development, rural infrastructure development and financial inclusion.
NABARD Board comprises of Secretaries of Government of India, Deputy Governor of RBI, Additional Chief Secretaries of select States and is headed by Chairman, NABARD, Shri H K Bhanwala.
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